The Memefication of the 2020 Election

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Media

With Millennials and Generation Y set to become a large voting block in America, the question of how to win young voters looms large in the 2020 election. While younger generations have been notoriously difficult to turn out in the past, Generations Y and Z have a unique aspect that could turn them into a political force: memes.

Memes, or social media images accompanied by text, tend to provoke an emotional reaction, often humor. The meme has the potential for virality – and that’s political potency, given that any serious campaign must get its message out.

The 2012 election saw the beginning of the memefication of American politics: Romney’s comments about “binders full of women” and Obama’s “horses and bayonets” quip were fertile meme ground. But 2016 was deemed most-memed election in American history by the Washington Post. Unforgettable was “Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.”

This election season promises to be an even bigger meme-fest. Political meme groups are already popping up on Facebook, including a “dank meme stash” for Beto O’Rourke. But political memes have a dark side as well, precipitating fears of a less nuanced political discourse. Some are concerned about the weaponization of memes by actors like the alt-right and Russia, with experts warning that the United States is unprepared for “meme warfare.”

The question for this election season will be which presidential candidate – and country?—wins the meme war — and does it even matter? 

Washington Correspondent | + posts

William serves as the Washington Correspondent for the Texas Signal, where he primarily writes about Congress and other federal issues that affect Texas. A graduate of Colorado College, William has worked on Democratic campaigns in Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina. He is an internet meme expert.

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Lina Hidalgo Announces Mental Health Leave

Lina Hidalgo Announces Mental Health Leave

This afternoon Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she has been taking a leave of absence from her position to seek treatment for depression. The Houston Chronicle broke the news about Hidalgo, who has been at an inpatient facility since July. Throughout her...